Nonprofit organizations see plenty of 2014 goals
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Jan 01, 2014 | 1183 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Local nonprofits seemed to take a collective breath near the end of 2013 as they looked to the beginning of 2014.

Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland Executive Director Matt Carlson said New Year’s Eve was a time to celebrate all of the successes the organization had in 2013. Among these accomplishments is 18,000-plus hours of volunteer service.

Plans and hopes for Habitat in 2014 included reaching the 20,000 mark for volunteer service hours; building 10 new homes; and launching the Impact Cleveland initiative alongside United Way of Bradley County. The new initiative will focus on extreme block makeovers in various local neighborhoods.

United Way President and CEO Matt Ryerson said 2014 holds a lot of exciting projects for the organization.

“The United Way most importantly hopes to accomplish our mission by meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our community through strong collaborations and good stewardship over our community’s most valuable resources,” Ryerson said.

He listed the launches of both Impact Cleveland and the Volunteer Center as two top objectives. These will continue alongside other projects, like planning an adult dental clinic for adults without dental insurance or means to pay for regular dental care. Trainings, capacity building projects and funding opportunities for local nonprofits will continue into the new year.

Sue Bennett, Christian Women’s Job Corps director, expressed her excitement for 2014. She said she expects many new things and people. She said she anticipates what the Lord has for the organization. Hopes for the new year included the addition of a night session; increased outreach to women in the community; and a better understanding and exploration of the grant process to find new funding sources.

She said any mentors, teachers or speakers interested in joining CWJC in 2014 are welcome.

Director of Transitions Furniture Daniel Murch also expressed an excitement for the new year. He was encouraged by the number of families the young organization was able to help in 2013. An expansion to include the Chattanooga area alongside Cleveland and Bradley County will be explored this year. The nonprofit will also explore the possibility of developing an online store through collaboration with local businesses.

Hopes for the new year include a larger warehouse space to replace the seven storage units currently close to overflowing. Businesses and schools interested in team-building exercises are welcome to join Transitions Furniture in 2014 through the building of tables.

President Ronnie Arnold of 100 Black Men of Bradley County Inc. said the members plan to continue the work completed in recent years.

“We strive to be excellent in everything we do, and seek to be obedient to God’s will while doing it,” Arnold said.

Lucy Rymer, incoming president for Junior Auxiliary, said the group’s resolution is to focus on projects which have the biggest impact on the local community. She said the existing projects will speak to the heart of the organization of helping children in need, the famished, the fallen and the bereaved.

The Caring Place’s Sac Pac coordinator, Lee Ann Lowe, said the program will be more organized going into 2014 in order to ensure focus, productivity and creativity.

Executive Director Reba Terry shared sentiments similar to her fellow nonprofit leaders.

“I have an increased sense of anticipation for The Caring Place in 2014,” Terry said. “I believe that God has some exciting things for us, and I want to be faithful to Him in leading our team through the open doors.”